Hello and welcome to Deliciously Ella! I’ve been writing this blog for about four years now and love it more than I can possibly say; I hope you’ll love it too.
I started the blog as a way of dealing with a relatively rare illness, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, which I was diagnosed with in September 2011. The illness had a pretty devastating effect on my life – I literally couldn’t walk down the street, I slept for 16 hours a day, had never ending heart palpitations, was in chronic pain, had unbearable stomach issues, constant headaches and the list goes on – it was anything but fun! I tried healing through conventional medicine for about six months but it had little effect on my symptoms and I was still bed-ridden 95% of the time. So I decided it was time for something new and began researching holistic, natural healing approaches, which is how I started eating like this. Overnight I took up a whole foods, plant-based diet and cut out refined, processed foods as well as wheat, dairy and refined sugar, as these weren’t seeming to agree with me. It was a pretty drastic change for me, up until that point my diet had revolved around Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Chocolate, peanut butter and jelly eaten with a spoon, pick-n-mix and lots of cereal and pasta – I was a sugar monster! So everything you see here is part of my learning and healing process, I’m not a trained chef by any means – everything is self-taught and the result of lots of failed experiments. I also totally understand how daunting the idea of changing your diet so radically is, but it’s single-handedly the best thing I have ever done. Knowing that I’m giving my body the love and health that it needs is an incredible feeling, and even better – everything tastes so incredible now I’d take a batch of raw brownies over candy any day.
Eating this way has allowed me to take control of my illness and manage the symptoms, stopping the constant pain, restoring my energy and giving me my life back again. After eighteen months of eating this way, alongside work with a nutritionist and an exercise program from my doctor, I was able to come off all my medication, which was amazing. I’d never have believed that I could come this far simply through a diet and lifestyle change; it is just incredible – better than any drug I tried by a long way. I’ve learnt more on this health adventure than I could have possibly imagined too and I really want to share it with you. It’s my way of turning something negative into something really positive. If I can spread health and happiness with anyone then this is a success!
More than anything I want the blog to show how easy and delicious healthy food is – it’s so much more than bland salads and iceberg lettuce. It’s all about incredibly flavoursome food that tastes amazing!
This way of eating is absolutely not about deprivation, diets and prescriptive ways of life. It’s all about balance, moderation and variety. You can do it when you want, how you want and as much or as little as you want. There’s no fixed rule about the amount of kale or quinoa you have to eat in a week, and there’s no ban on things that aren’t green either! We’re all different, have different bodies and different lifestyles so what works for one of us isn’t going to be exactly the same for someone else, so make sure you listen to your body and do what’s right for you. You can adapt any of my recipes to make that work for you, whether that means adding them as sides to meals or simply adapting them to include other ingredients that you want, or need. Either way, just make sure you enjoy it – food should always be fun.
A little about what I’m up to: I graduated from St Andrews with a Masters in Art History in May 2013 and have been back in London working on Deliciously Ella ever since. I released my best-selling app three years ago, which I’m always working on (it’s available on the iTunes store and the Google Play store), I’ve published two best-selling cookbooks ‘Deliciously Ella‘ and ‘Deliciously Ella Every Day,’ and somehow I’ve found myself already working on my third book, as well a smaller book on juices and smoothie! I also co-founded a deli, the mae deli, with my fiance at the end of last year, which is amazing and hopefully you’ll see more of that soon.
Have a wonderful day,
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome
The illness, classed as a type of dysautonomia, affects the autonomic nervous system and is believed by experts to be significantly under-diagnosed. Symptoms present themselves in a wide variety of ways, however orthostatic intolerance (difficultly maintaining a steady heart rate when upright) is the defining feature – my heart rate normally jumps from around 60 to 130 within 30 seconds of standing! I think 194 is my record though! Heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, pre syncope (blackouts), constant headaches, severe digestive issues, nausea, abdominal cramps and food intolerances also unfortunately occur on a daily basis!
The illness predominantly affects women and usually develops in your late teens and early twenties. Whilst medications are amazingly helpful in controlling symptoms there is no cure. This isn’t helped by the fact that most doctors have never heard of the syndrome since the condition gets so little attention in the medical community. As a result of this lack of understanding, even the experts do not fully understand why it occurs and what the prognosis is. All they can estimate is that in about 50% of patients the syndrome disappears at some point, although they really cannot predict when, whilst for the remaining 50% it is something they will have to manage for life.
If you want to find out more about PoTS then this link may be useful – PoTS: An Overview.